If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it’s that getting outdoors in nature is good for our physical and mental health. These days, it feels like we need nature more than ever. And nature needs us.
“This spring, it was heartening to see so many people visiting state and county parks, special places like our Lulu Lake Preserve just 45 minutes southwest of Milwaukee and the green spaces in their neighborhoods,” says Elizabeth Koehler, Nature Conservancy director in Wisconsin.
Nature is important not only as a way to safely escape from our homes for a while, but for the many other benefits it gives us for free – trees that provide shade on a hot day and filter our air to keep it clean; wetlands that absorb water, remove pollutants and help replenish our drinking water supply; bees and butterflies that pollinate our crops and the flowers in our gardens; and so much more.
The Nature Conservancy has protected special places in nature for 60 years with support from our members and many others who love outdoor Wisconsin. We continue to do that important work.
But our world is changing, and we are changing along with it to take on the challenges people and nature face today: adapting to a changing climate, feeding a growing population while keeping our water clean, enhancing the health of cities like Milwaukee and the people who live there. And pursuing our mission in increasingly just, equitable and inclusive ways.
“Nature is our life support system,” says Koehler. “Just like we take care of our physical and mental health, we need to take care of our lakes, forests, wetlands and other special places in nature so they can take care of us. Now more than ever, we need to take action for nature.”